NYC Health plus Hospitals is preparing to launch a series of Specialty-Primary Care (SPC) Workgroups to develop “Expected Practices” for approximately three dozen ambulatory specialty services. Expected Practices serve as a common resource for primary care clinicians and specialists, providing clarity on expected referral workflows, pre-visit workup, roles and responsibilities regarding transitions of care between services, and other important areas of alignment. The SPC Workgroup approach is modeled after the successful effort in Los Angeles County and will directly support the expansion of eConsult across H plus H specialty services. Participating eConsult services will rely on the Expected Practices to provide clarity on referral workflows and foster communication between primary care providers and specialists.
The development of Expected Practices as a system-wide initiative will provide a unique opportunity to identify and reduce variations in clinical practice across the system by defining and publishing standard expectations that are applicable to all care delivery sites. Improving communication and clarifying expectations among specialist and primary care clinicians will reduce confusion, potentially minimizing unnecessary testing while ensuring that patients needing ambulatory specialty care are prepared for their visits and have all needed preliminary workup.